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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

A3:   see A3 Report
A3 Report:   A Toyota-pioneered practice of getting the problem, the analysis, the corrective actions, and the action plan down on a single sheet of large (A3) paper, often with the use of graphics. At Toyota, A3 reports have evolved into a standard method for summarizing problem-solving exercises, status reports, and planning exercises like value-stream mapping.  A3 paper is the international term for paper 297 millimeters wide and 420 millimeters long. The closest U.  S. paper size is the 11-by-17 inch tabloid sheet. More »
A3 Thinking Roundup
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | August 9, 2016
Following last week's immensely popular Posts on the origins of A3 thinking, LEI Senior Editor Tom Ehrenfeld compiles a collection of the very best reads on A3 thinking, from the Lean Post and beyond. More »
A3: Tool or Process? Both....
By: Richardson, Tracey | October 14, 2011
Coach Tracey Richardson explains why an A3 is both a useful tool that captures and shares the results of an investigation--and is also a thinking process that cannot be ignored.    More »
A3 Templates from Lean Enterprise Institute
By: Shook, John | January 16, 2010
A3s; Forms and Templates
Templates courtesy of the Lean Enterprise Institute:Dowload the A3 Templates:  A3 Template (PowerPoint File) A3 Template (Word File) More »
A3 Strategy Form (from Getting the Right Things Done)
By: Dennis, Pascal | December 11, 2006
A3s; Forms and Templates
A strategy A3 is a one-page storyboard on 11-inch by 17-inch paper that helps us tell our strategy "story.  " Logic flows from top left to bottom right, and each box leads to the next one. Some people might look at a strategy A3 and find it too complicated or busy. This is a normal reaction; we're condensing a lot on to one page. But you'll find that good A3 stories have an intuitive flow and can be told in five to 10 minutes.   Getting the Right Things Done, from which this example is taken, Pascal Dennis outlines the nuts More »
A3 Action Plan Form (from Getting the Right Things Done)
By: Dennis, Pascal | December 11, 2006
A3s; Forms and Templates
The action plan template helps us define the who, what, when, where, and how of our plan on one page. It also helps us track progress and highlight problems so we can take action. Action plans help us deploy our mother A3 strategies effectively. We need to ask: What does this mother A3 mean for my section? How do I translate the mother A3 into meaningful tactics? Once we've written our first draft action plan, we need to engage our team members by asking, "what do you think?" Thus, the plan becomes their plan—creating ownership is fundamental to deployment.  Some More »
A3 Coaching: What Feedback Would You Give?
By: Lean Leaper | May 30, 2017
You be our coach: what feedback/coaching would you offer on our example A3? We'd like to hear from you! More »
A3 Example from "Making Hospitals Work"
By: Baker, Marc and Ian Taylor | August 25, 2009
This is an example high-level planning A3 from the fictitious hospital in the book Making Hospitals Work. Click on the "read more" link, below, to download a PDF file. More »
A3 Status Review Form (from Getting the Right Things Done)
By: Dennis, Pascal | December 11, 2006
A3s; Forms and Templates
A current-status or yearend review A3 is a one-page storyboard on 11-inch by 17-inch paper that summarizes the status of an important strategic planning initiative, such as our Customer Satisfaction strategy. Normally, we use them at our midyear and yearend strategic planning reviews.  The yearend review A3 comprises two main boxes: the top box provides an overview of how we're doing with respect to our critical end-of-pipe metrics (e.  g. revenue, profit, customer delivery, quality rates, lost time injury rate, etc.  ) including the target and actual measures, a rating, and a brief explanation. The second box provides an overview More »
A3 Template
By: Sobek, Durward | January 16, 2010
A3s; Forms and Templates
Thanks to Associate Professor Durward Sobek, Mechanical and Engineering Dept.  , Montana State Univ.  , for sharing this A3 template and illustration of an improvement cycle for using it. More »
Test Your PDCA Thinking By Reading Your A3 Backwards
By: Tracey Richardson | July 11, 2014
Pretty sure you've got a good A3, but want to test the logic of your thinking? Want some help coaching another person through their A3 thinking? Tracey Richardon shares her wisdom. More »
Lessons in A3 Thinking: What Porter Learned in Managing to Learn
Understand the work, thinking, and leadership behind the A3 process -- not only what goes into the storyboard boxes. More »
How We A3 at Goodyear
By: Tedd Cowling, Norbert Majerus, Rob Schott and Damien Schreurs | October 18, 2016
Just as lean is situational, A3s are situational too - companies like Goodyear have a variety of types of A3s that they use based on the specific challenge that is being faced. Four Goodyear insiders share more. More »
What Are the Different Types of A3s?
By: Richardson, Tracey | August 8, 2011
What are the different types of A3s and what are they used for? More »
How Do I Start My A3?
By: Verble, David | July 18, 2012
When asked "where do I start to write my A3," David Verble responds "don't start by writing.  " His piece, the first in a series about getting started, offers lessons he has learned about the nature of thinking, and a productive way to start the A3 by recognzing it as a thinking process.    More »
The A3 Process -- Discovery at Toyota and What it Can Do for You
By: Shook, John | October 30, 2008
Columns; eLetters
The challenge isn’t in teaching how to write an A3 but in how to use the A3 as a managerial process. If the A3 was presented as a narrow tool, the deeper and broader aspects of the overall process would be lost. I really didn’t want to just introduce yet another narrow tool. It has long been my view that using tools for tool’s sake (where everything is a hammer looking for a nail) is one of the very biggest problems in “LeanWorld.  ” More »
Who Owns Your A3? (Part Two)
By: Reich, Mark | December 4, 2012
In this second of two columns, Mark Reich explains why people must own their A3 reports as a means of developing their ability to properly analyze a problem using facts and logic, and learning to build consensus in the organization as to how and why this problem must be addressed. More »
Toyota’s Secret: The A3 Report
By: Shook, John | July 30, 2009
The A3 report, with its logical series of boxes and graphics, looks simple in layout but the underlying thought process is rigorous when practiced correctly. The payoff for companies that diligently apply "A3 thinking" is the creation of a method for solving problems, planning, collaborating, and mentoring everyone in scientific thinking. (Published by Sloan Management Review. Requires subscription or purchase) More »
Don't Present Your A3: Share Your A3
By: Ethington, Eric | December 11, 2012
A3 Coach Eric Ethington explains why he encourages people to share rather than present their A3s--and explains the reasons why this distinction helps foster productive teamwork and learning. More »
How Do We Sustain A3 Thinking in our Organization?
By: Balle, Michael | December 12, 2011
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba CoachMy firm has been investing a lot of time and energy this year in teaching A3 thinking to our staff.  The workshops have been going great, but how do we keep this work going when people return to their daily work? How can we “pull” A3 thinking through the organization after the formal training is over? More »
Managing to Learn: The Use of the A3 Management Process
This workshop introduces the A3 management process and the way of thinking represented in the A3 format that capture the heart of lean management. Participants will be provided an overview of various forms and uses of the A3 format and will have an opportunity to create their own A3. Working in small groups, they will be able to read, discuss, and evaluate each another’s A3s. More »
To A3 or Not to A3
By: Norbert Majerus | February 9, 2016
"Not every tool is a hammer, and not every problem is a nail," writes Norbert Majerus of The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. "Not every situation warrants the use of an A3.  " Read more to learn Norbert's preferred approach to gauging whether or not an A3 will help in a given situation. More »
Want to Instill A3 Thinking? Teach A3 Behaviors
By: Andrew Quibell | June 25, 2015
A3 thinking is all about A3 behaviors, says auto-manufacturing veteran Andrew Quibell. "Only by applying a step by step mentality, being tenacious in purpose, and looking for data/facts do you arrive at a root cause you and others can clearly see and believe," he writes. See the story boards Quibell uses to develop A3 thinking behaviors in others. More »
Should I use an A3 report to kick off a problem-solving effort?
By: Ballé, Michael | August 1, 2013
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,Should I use an A3 report to kick off a problem? I encourage my managers to tell me about their problems on the shop floor. They always pull something out of the air and say ‘lets work on this.  ..  ’ What I would really like is for them to create some kind of A3 report that explains why this problem is happening. Any advice? More »
It Takes 2 (or more) to A3
By: Womack, Jim | October 7, 2008
Columns; eLetters
We've just launched John Shook's new book, Managing to Learn, and I'm tremendously excited. I think it is the most important work we have published at LEI. This is because John clearly explains why A3 thinking is the core of the Toyota management system and shows how the repeated act of creating A3s also creates lean managers.  But I'm worried as well as excited. When we launched John and Mike Rother's Learning to See 11 years ago, I expected readers would use the wonderful tool of value-stream mapping (VSM) to engage in a dialogue with everyone touching value streams. I More »
Is There a Right Way to Teach A3?
By: Balle, Michael | November 8, 2011
Columns; eLetters
We’ve been teaching A3 problem solving to all our managers, but so far I fail to see any clear improvement of our problem solving ability. Is there a right way to teach A3? More »
Back to Basics: Jim Womack on Why You Should Never Create an A3 Alone
By: James P. Womack | August 30, 2017
In this eletter from 2008, Jim Womack (in honor of the then-recent publication of "Managing to Learn") shares invaluable advice for a problem that too many A3 writers get hung up on. Read more to learn why you should never be a hero and try to write an A3 alone. More »
Reflecting to Learn: Takeaways and Reflections on the A3 Process
By: John Y. Shook | August 3, 2016
In the wake of yesterday's interview with Mr. Isao Yoshino on the roots of the A3 process at Toyota, LEI Chairman and CEO John Shook shares more context about A3s and how they came to be. More »
Let Your A3s Lead
By: Ethington, Eric | March 1, 2012
A3s; Articles
Coach Eric Ethington shares how simply getting started with A3s as a means of engaging others in this process is a tactical approach that works. More »
Developing Better Habits using A3 Thinking
By: Katie Anderson | April 6, 2017
Think A3 thinking is only for solving organizational problems? Think again! LEI faculty Katie Anderson shares her secrets for using A3s as a tool for structuring personal-development coaching. More »
What do you think about a new boss who wants us to use A3s to solve problems rigorously?
By: Ballé, Michael | April 25, 2016
Columns; eLetters
Dear Gemba Coach,My new boss wants us to use A3s to “teach us how to solve problems rigorously” – her words. I find the process cumbersome, it goes against everything I know about creative problem solving and, personally, I resent the idea that my boss wants to teach me how to think. What’s your take on this? More »
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